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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

September 23, 2013

Contact: Special Agent/PIO Ken Ryan

Cell: (443)-965-2007

ATF National Response Team Activated

Investigation of Commercial Building Fire with $4.5million in Damage

BALTIMORE — Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Steven L. Gerido of the Baltimore Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), today announced the activation of the ATF National Response Team (NRT) to investigate the Sept. 20, commercial building fire that occurred at the "Three Brothers," 3061 Frederick Ave., Baltimore. The four alarm fire burned for about nine hours causing an estimated $4.5 million in damage. There were no deaths or injuries. The ATF NRT is working jointly with the Baltimore City Fire Department to investigate this fire.

"ATF is committed to working alongside its state and local partners and sharing its expertise in fire investigation, and additional resources in order to thoroughly examine the origin and cause of this fire," said SAC Gerido.

This ATF NRT activation is the 11th in fiscal year 2013 and the 747th since the NRT inception in 1978. ATF developed the NRT to assist federal, state, and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant arson and explosives incidents. The NRT consists of four teams organized geographically to cover the United States. Each team can respond within 24 hours to join state and local law enforcement /fire service personnel in onsite investigations.

The NRT joined the investigation of the fire on Baltimore’s "Block," in December 2010. Although the NRT has been used predominately in the investigation of commercial fires, it has also been activated to the scene of the West, Texas fertilizer fire and explosion; as well as explosives and ammunition manufacturing plants, legal fireworks factories, and illegal explosive device manufacturing operations.

The teams are each composed of veteran special agents who have post blast and fire origin–and–cause expertise; forensic chemists; explosives enforcement officers; fire protection engineers; accelerant detection canines; explosives detection canines; intelligence support, computer forensic support and audit support.

The teams work alongside state and local officers in reconstructing the scene, identifying the seat of the blast or origin of the fire, conducting interviews, and sifting through debris to obtain evidence related to the bombing/arson.

Further complementing the team’s efforts are technical, legal, and intelligence advisors. Moreover, a fleet of fully equipped response vehicles strategically located throughout the United States is available to provide logistical support.

ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating federal firearms, explosives, and arson violations. More information on ATF and its programs may be found at